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Full text of "A history of Persia"

3oo                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
force was too weak to effect anything of importance.
Shortly afterwards peace was made on the terms of the
actual . position, Baghdad, which had been strongly
garrisoned, being retained by Turkey and Erivan by
Persia.
Abbas //., 1052-1077 (1642-1667).—Shah Safi was
succeeded by his son Abbas II., a boy of ten, and for
some years, under his Ministers, there was evidently a
reaction to a more austere tone, wine-bibbing being regarded
as a bar to office. But, as was to be .expected, the young
Shah when he attained his majority indulged in the vices
of the period, and all European travellers without distinc-
tion were admitted to share his orgies. Apart from this,
the country was apparently prosperous and happy, and
Kandahar was recovered by an army led by the young
Shah in person. Architecture flourished during his reign.
To him we owe the stately quadrangle of the Sahn-i-Kuhna,
or " Old Court," at Meshed, the portico of which is a
particularly fine example of Safavi architecture combined
with the potter's art.1
The Uzbeg Refugees.—In the time of Abbas II. an
Uzbeg prince sought the protection of the Shah, and was
treated with extraordinary generosity and honour. Later
Nazir Mohamed, the Uzbeg monarch, threw himself on
Persian hospitality, and met with similar disinterested
kindness, an army being placed at his disposal to aid him
in asserting his rights. There was, indeed, a certain
chivalrous spirit in the Safavi monarchs, who never showed
to greater advantage than in their treatment of refugees
and foreign travellers.
The First Russian Embassy to Persia^ A.D. 1664.—It is
difficult to realize that Russia, whose frontiers are now
conterminous with those of Persia from Ararat on the
west to Kalat-i-Nadiri and Sarakhs on the east, had practi-
cally no relations with Iran until some two and a half
centuries ago. The first recorded embassy was from
the Emperor Alexis/ usually termed the - Grand Duke
1 Fide my "Historical Notes on Khorasan," Journal R.A.S. for October 1910,
p. 1133.
He was the father of Peter the Great, and curiously enough in this very year he
received an embassy from Charles IT. of England.